The Environmental Pillar has added its weight to the growing push for a Site Value Tax in Ireland. Today (18 October) it released a policy on Site Value Tax, outlining the social, economic and environmental benefits that would be delivered by its implementation.
A Site Value Tax is a tax on the unimproved value of land, and so does not include the value of any buildings on the site. Instead it is a charge on the value of a site created by location and community investment in services such as roads, schools and jobs.
While it is clear that a property tax of some description will be introduced into Ireland, the Government has not yet announced what form the tax will take. The two options under consideration are a property tax based on market value (including the value of the buildings and any improvements) or a Site Value Tax.
‘We support a Site Value Tax for many reasons,’ said Emer O’Siochru, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar. ‘It will promote much-needed development without contributing to urban sprawl or the loss of valuable agricultural land. It will also encourage good environmental outcomes.’
A Site Value Tax promotes efficient use of land and discourages land speculation or the hoarding of idle sites.
‘This tax would encourage the infill of derelict or underused land in urban areas,’ said Ms O’Siochru. ‘This will open up more housing options for people who want to live closer to jobs and core community services. It also means that local authorities can provide more efficient and cost-effective services such as public transport and water supply.’
Unlike a conventional property tax, a Site Value Tax will not penalise homeowners who improve or retro-fit their homes with energy-efficient features such as triple-glazed windows or solar panels.
‘The National Economic and Social Council has just published a report which identified retrofitting to get energy savings in buildings as the key opportunity in meeting our 2020 climate change targets,’ said Charles Stanley-Smith, also speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar. ‘A Site Value Tax supports this strategy. A property tax based on market value works against it.
Download the Environmental Pillar Policy on Site Value Tax